Science and Environment

Environment
6:26 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Halliburton Will Plead Guilty To Destroying Evidence In BP Gulf Spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 6:59 pm

Halliburton Energy Services Inc. will plead guilty to destroying evidence in connection to the Deepwater Horizon explosion in April 2010 that left 11 dead and resulted in the largest oil spill in U.S. history, the Justice Department said on Thursday.

Justice said in a press release:

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Environment
2:38 am
Thu July 25, 2013

La. Flood Board Sues Oil Industry Over Wetlands

Canals created for navigation and oil and gas pipelines cut through the marsh off the coast of Louisiana, seen in 2010.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 10:49 am

Since the 1930s, Louisiana has lost roughly as much land as makes up the state of Delaware.

"If you put the state of Delaware between New Orleans and the ocean, we wouldn't need any levees at all," says John Barry, vice president of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. "There is this large buffer of land that has disappeared, and that buffer makes New Orleans much more vulnerable to hurricanes."

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Environment
4:18 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Why The Latest Gulf Leak Is No BP Disaster

Fire boats battle a fire at the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon in April 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 5:06 pm

Teams of workers are mobilizing in the Gulf of Mexico to try to stem a natural gas leak at an offshore drilling rig that exploded and caught fire Tuesday. The rig off the Louisiana coast has been partially destroyed by the out of control blaze, and firefighting boats are on the scene.

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Environment
7:18 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Gas Well On Fire After Blowout In Gulf Of Mexico

Before a blaze broke out, a cloud of gas could be seen rising Tuesday from the Hercules 265 drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana.
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 11:57 am

A natural gas well off the coast of Louisiana was on fire Wednesday, one day after a blowout forced 44 workers to evacuate. There were no injuries reported.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement says the mishap at Well A-3 below a "Hercules 265 jack-up rig," about 55 miles off the Louisiana coast, was first reported around 9:45 a.m. ET Tuesday.

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BP Oil Spill Impacts
5:30 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Why Finding Oil in Fish Organs Isn't as Bad as it Looks

Menhaden are measured and weighed before the dissection, to establish a catalog of weights and sizes.
Kelly Connelly, WRKF

Environmental remediation scientists at LSU’s School of the Coast and Environment have found remnants of crude oil in the hearts of pogy that live off Grand Isle.

Pogy, a baitfish more officially called menhaden, make up the second largest commercial catch in the United States. They’re not only resold as baitfish, but they’re also processed into fish oil and fish meal, making their way into vitamins, cosmetics and livestock feeds.

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Environment
1:26 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

5 Stars: A Mosquito's Idea Of A Delicious Human

Many criteria — from blood type to body temperature — can play a role in affecting who attracts mosquitoes.
abadonian iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 1:48 pm

If mosquitoes used Yelp, they might look for their next meal by searching nearby for a heavy-breathing human with Type O blood, sporting a red shirt and more than a smattering of skin bacteria. Preferably either pregnant or holding a beer.

That's some of what we take away from a post today on the Surprising Science blog from the Smithsonian.

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Environment
8:54 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Tulane Researchers Using BP Grant To Develop Less-Toxic Dispersant

Technical Sergeant Adrian Cadiz US Air Force

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 9:18 am

Tulane chemistry professor Scott Grayson reviews the grant objectives.

Researchers at Tulane University are working on designing a less toxic oil dispersant than the Corexit used on the BP spill in 2010. The goal is using ingredients now approved for human consumption.

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Environment
7:59 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Obama Working On Plan That Limits Power Plant Emissions

The smoke stacks at American Electric Power's Mountaineer coal power plant in New Haven, W.Va.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 10:29 am

President Obama will soon unveil a plan that will put limits on the carbon emissions of existing power plants, the administration's top energy adviser says.

The New York Times reports this is the most consequential part of a bigger plan to curb climate change. The newspaper adds:

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Coastal Restoration
12:44 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Fisherman, Scientists Continue to Clash on Miss. River Diversions

Caernarvon Pass is 15 miles downriver from New Orleans. Built in the early 1990s to grow oyster beds, many argue it isn't a good example for what the state's planned diversions will do.
Credit Army Corps of Engineers

State plans to restore the coastline are trying to mimic the way the Mississippi built the coast. Thousands of years ago the river dumped sediment from the plains upriver into the marsh. But some fishermen are worried the plans will displace the saltwater fish they catch to make a living.

Fishermen voiced their opposition at a community meeting in St. Bernard Monday.

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Environment
8:19 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Second Deadly Industrial Accident in Ascension Parish in as Many Days

UPDATE 10:14 p.m. CST WRKF's Kelly Connelly on the scene in Donaldsonville:

An industrial accident at North America’s largest nitrogen complex in Donaldsonville, La. has left one dead and at least five injured.

A little after 6 p.m. Friday, a crew at the CF Industries plant loaded too much nitrogen into a transportation tank, causing it to rupture. Louisiana State Police Col. Mike Edmonson described the mangled piece of equipment as a popped balloon. Louisiana State Police Capt. Doug Cain told the Associated Press a fire sparked by the blast was quickly extinguished.

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